This chapter sets the stage for the book. It explains the concepts of commodification (including the concepts of marketisation; privatisation; and corporatisation) and decommodification. The first section of the chapter documents historical and contemporary examples of neoliberal influences in early childhood care and education in Europe, Australia and New Zealand, the United States, and Canada. Through these examples, commodification as a glocal phenomenon is explained: global in nature but in hybrid forms that depend on local historical, political and cultural contexts. The chapter then explores present-day understandings of the concept of cultural hegemony originally developed by Antonio Gramsci. It explains how this concept may help to comprehend the omnipresence of neoliberal imaginary and its accompanying vocabulary of choice and freedom. The concept of cultural hegemony is particularly interesting as it also includes the inevitability of resistance and counter-hegemonies, that are at the centre of the following chapters of this book.